21 January 2009
Bangladesh comfortably defeated Zimbabwe by 6 wickets in the second ODI to level the three-match GrameenPhone ODI series 1-1 at Sher E Bangla Stadium in Mirpur today. Bowlers led by Nazmul Hossain restricted Zimbabwe to 160 for 9 in the 50 overs and Bangladesh batsmen showed a much improved performance as they cantered to victory with 31 balls to spare.
After the winning the toss, Bangladesh opted to bowl first and the decision immediately paid off as the seamers reduced Zimbabwe to 47 for 6. However, like previous occasions Bangladesh failed to press on and Zimbabwe recovered well to post 160 on the board thanks to a 96 run 7th wicket partnership between Shaun Williams (59) and Prosper Utseya (38). Bangladesh seamers shared 7 wickets between them while the other two wickets were run out.
Nazmul Hossain was the wrecker-in-chief with 3 wickets for 28 runs. Mashrafe and Rubel bagged 2 wickets each for 22 and 29 run respectively.
In reply Bangladesh, with a new opening pair, started cautiously and reached to 32 without any loss before Tamim lost his cool and was cleaned up while attempting an ambitious shot. His opening partner Mehrab Hossain Jnr. played a more sensible innings of 43 off 85 deliveries and laid the foundation for the chase.
The only disappointment in the top order was skipper Mohammad Ashraful (5) who yet again perished unnecessarily to a false stroke. His attempted on-the-up cover drive landed safely at the waiting hands of Prosper Utseya at short cover and Bangladesh captain's experiment to promote himself to number three failed without much fruit.
After the fall of Ashraful, Raqibul Hasan (52*) took control of the chase and received support initially from Mehrab Hossain Jnr. and later from Shakib Al Hasan to seal a well deserved victory for the hosts. Raqibul was adjudged man of the match for his match winning 52 off 100 deliveries with the help of 7 boundaries.
The two teams will meet again on Friday at the same venue for the series decider.